If you bought a horse at an auction.....
and weren't sure what kind of bit they were ridden in, what bit would you start them off on? This is an older horse, 12-15, not a youngster.
What discipline are you aiming for?
My first thought is to get a dentist out to make sure the teeth are floated. You can ask the dentist then what kind of conformation the horse's mouth has (i.e. high/shallow palate, thick/skinny tongue, etc) which might better help you decide what kind of bit to put him in.
I personally prefer to use a double jointed bit; at the top of this section of the forum, there's a "Bit Information" thread that you might find helpful.
we just trail ride, nothing fancy.
Ah JDI, the bit queen. Listen to whatever she says! :)
Hahaha too funny upnover ;)
Rosebud, take a look at this thread:
Hopefully it will help.
Some questions I have for you:
- What kind of riding do you do primarily? Do you neck rein or direct rein?
- What kind of rider are you? Do you rely on your bit to steer and stop, or do you steer from your seat and leg?
Personally I'm a fan of double jointed snaffles. I find that a lot of horses tend to prefer a double jointed bit to a single joint. (Even a horse that goes "well" in a single joint can go "better" in a double. Note I said a lot, and not "all.")
I strongly suggest getting a dentist out first and foremost. They will be able to tell you what kind of mouth the horse has, which makes finding a bit just that much easier. Not to mention the other benefits of having a horse with pristine chompers ;)
You could call the previous owner and ask. I always use a snaffle bit in an arena first time on a new horse.
I would say I rely more on my bit to steer and stop. Not 100%, but more than my legs and seat.
That article is helpful.....is there one for western bits too?
I live in SD, and the vets around here are farm vets. I don't know how much help they would be, as they are not horse dentists, like you could see in a metro area.
I appreciate the direction from all of you, though.
I would start in a smooth o-ring snaffle, then upgrade to a dogbone if necessary. I ride in a large correctional, but then again, I have a job to get done when I ride.
Based on your answers, you're probably best to go with a simple snaffle - you can see my link for information on the different mouth and cheekpieces :)
JDI: Hmmm...you ARE the bit queen arn't you?! lol If I have a bit question, I'm definately askin you first! :D
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